A social media friend of mine made an interesting point about an editorial that appeared in today’s Amarillo (Texas) Globe-News; thus, I won’t take credit for this observation, but merely want to flesh it out just a bit.
He said the editorial, which commented on the heated national discussion about separating children from their parents who seek illegal entry into the United States, brought up the “open border” canard that conservatives often cite when seeking stricter immigration policies.
My friend writes, in part: Open borders are in use in several countries of the EU, where citizens of one country can freely enter another country.
We don’t have an “open border” with Mexico or Canada these days; 9/11 ended that policy.
But as my friend noted, the European Union does have open borders between several of its member nations.
In September 2016, my wife and I traveled to Germany. We spent several days in Nuremberg visiting friends. We had planned to take the train to Amsterdam, The Netherlands, to visit more friends.
We purchased our train tickets in Nuremberg, boarded the train and rode for six hours to Amsterdam. We crossed from one EU country into another. We got off the train, met our friend, who then took his to his home, where we spent a few days visiting him and his wife and small daughter.
When our trip to The Netherlands ended, we went back to the train station in Amsterdam, boarded the train and went back to Nuremberg. Our return trip had a slightly different wrinkle: We changed trains in Hannover, Germany to connect to Nuremberg.
At no point did anyone in authority — German or Dutch — ask for our passports; no one asked us a single question about why we were traveling aboard the train; no one inquired about our nationality.
Do we want that kind of openness between the United States and the two nations that border us north and south? No. But this hysteria we’re hearing about “open borders” — particularly where it concerns our southern boundary — should remind us that our borders are not nearly as open as they are in much of Europe.